Monadnock Pumpkin Festival challenge to raise money for Joy's Network

Union Leader Correspondent
October 18. 2017 9:15PM

SWANZEY — For every pumpkin painted pink and brought to the third annual Monadnock Pumpkin Festival at the Cheshire Fairgrounds Saturday, $3 will be donated to a Keene-based cancer charity.

“I’m really excited about some additions that we have, and I think the Pink Pumpkin Challenge is super exciting,” said festival founder Jennifer Matthews.

Matthews said the Pink Pumpkin Challenge came to her in her sleep — less than a week ago she awoke at 3 a.m. with the phrase “Pink Pumpkin Challenge” in her head.

“Pink is the color of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and October is the month of the pumpkin — the two kind of go well together,” she said.

Matthews decided to act on it and chose local nonprofit Joy’s Network, to benefit from the challenge. Joy’s Network provides financial assistance and support for individuals receiving cancer treatment or recovering from treatment in the Monadnock Region.

Matthews said for each pink pumpkin brought to the event, her business Memorable Events LLC, will donate 50 cents to Joy’s Network. Since announcing the challenge, other local businesses have gotten on board, including K. Lenox Photography, Masterpieces Cake Art, More than a Thrift Store, Monamie Fine Jewelry, and Cardinal Surveying and Land Planning. So now each pink pumpkin will bring in $3 for Joy’s Network.

Matthews started the Monadnock Pumpkin Festival in 2015 after the Keene City Council denied the organizers of the 25th annual pumpkin festival a permit and that festival moved to Laconia.

The Monadnock Pumpkin Festival is set to run from noon to 8 p.m. at the Cheshire Fairgrounds in Swanzey on Saturday.

Admission is $5 and includes live music from local bands, an Atlas fireworks show, hayrides, a costume parade, a community bonfire, a pumpkin-carving station, pumpkin display towers, rides including a Ferris wheel, and a children’s activity tent.

New this year is the haunted hayride Fright Fest and a Touch-a-Truck event.

The festival offers free pumpkin carving Saturday as well as tonight in the old ice rink building at the Fairgrounds.

For more information, visit


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